Finding Your Way to Help

All new parents deserve support.

Pregnancy and life with a new baby can bring many challenges in the early days, weeks, and months. For most new parents, this time of change can feel pretty rocky and overwhelming.  About 20% of parents will experience mood changes, such as depression or anxiety, that are so significant it is called a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD). What is normal vs. what is a problem? Sometimes it can be hard to tell at first. That’s ok!

Many parents experience distressing symptoms during pregnancy and postpartum that can affect the whole family. This can happen any time before, during, or after any pregnancy.

You don’t have to know what is wrong to get help. If you know something is not right, speak up! Our community has specialists trained to help you.

It can be hard to know where to start on your journey to getting support. If you are worried about what you are feeling or experiencing we want you to know you are not alone.

Need to talk to someone right away?

If you need immediate support, call or text the Washington Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.  Press 2 for Spanish.  Press 4 for Native and Strong Lifeline. You can also chat with someone at

Or, call Perinatal Support Washington's Warm Line at 1-888-404-7763.
Trained staff and parent volunteers are available to answer calls live between 9am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday. On evenings and weekends, calls will be returned within 12 hours.

Distress in pregnancy and postpartum can look like:

  • Trouble sleeping even when exhausted.
  • Scary thoughts like hurting self or baby.
  • Feeling sad, numb, or disconnected from life.
  • Feeling anxious and overwhelmed with worry.
  • Feeling more anger, rage, and irritability than normal.
  • Guilt and shame about not bonding with baby.
perinatal screenings

Many symptom checklists are available to help parents identify what they're going through. For most parents, these checklists are helpful. To access evidence-based and quality symptom checklists, click on the links below.

Support can be provided by lots of different people or organizations:


Family, friends, & support people can:

  • Call, text, or sit with you to lessen feelings of isolation and show you they care.
  • Provide nourishing meals, run errands, and help with household chores.
  • Help you and your family connect to resources.
Perinatal Therapy Whatcom County

Mental health providers can:

  • Provide therapy, tools, and strategies to address symptoms of distress before, during, and after pregnancy.
  • Support the transition to parenthood and healthy attachment.
  • Prescribe medications as appropriate.

Health care & social services providers can:

  • Nurture and maintain a trusted relationship with your family throughout prenatal, postpartum, and newborn care.
  • Create a safe space for you to ask for help.
  • Screen, discuss, refer, and prescribe medication as appropriate.
Peer Support Pregnancy Postpartum

Community peer support can:

  • Offer space to share honestly with other new parents, both in groups and one-to-one.
  • Empower, inspire, and validate your journey through parenthood.
  • Connect you to real parents who have been there before and can be here for you right now.

There is no right way to get help.  We want you to feel empowered to take the first steps that feel most right for you and your family.  We invite you to explore our site to find out more about what support can look like and how to connect with local resources.